Current trends in digital learning technology

The concept of learning has taken on new meanings corresponding to the advent of technology. Education has a new face and the methods of educating oneself have undergone revolutionary changes. In the modern world, literacy is not just about the student’s presence in the classroom. In fact, for the modern student, technology is playing an increasingly important role. Learning methods surround us; we carry vast resources in our smartphones in our fists, the interaction between a learner and an educator has been enriched with new possibilities. Technology has allowed us to break out of traditional forms of learning and educate ourselves according to our needs and enthusiasm.

In addition to the spontaneous and fierce advancements in technology within traditional educational structures, our hands have been forced to look into these technologies over the past year or so as distance education has become a key factor during the Covid-19 pandemic. EdTech is now poised to become its own industry and the pioneers looking to shape the future are all invested in the digitalization of learning technology. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends in learning technology in today’s world.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

The unexpected attack of the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to seek alternatives to traditional classroom learning. We had to use the technology that allowed students to learn remotely. And in the process, he made us aware of the flexibility and diverse resources that virtual learning has to offer. Also called e-learning, virtual education uses the concept of a “flipped classroom”. In a flipped classroom, students stay at home and, through the use of technology, absorb instructional content. Virtual education can be synchronous or asynchronous. In synchronous learning, teaching is delivered in real time using live streaming software such as Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams, etc. Students can attend classes from their homes and learn in real time.

Asynchronous education is not done in real time but through the absorption of content uploaded to a digital learning platform. Asynchronous virtual education makes extensive use of digital platforms which provide an alternative to the physical classroom. Google Classroom, Google Meet, Canvas, Schoology, etc. are some of the platforms where instructors and educators can upload their courses, enriched with audio and video supplements, and students can use them at their own pace. This type of learning can also be combined with a learning management system (LMS) to achieve the best results. A learning management system allows an educator to track the curriculum covered, student progress, grades, etc. virtual learning case. On the other hand, it takes into account the varying circumstances of the student and the teacher and allows the learning process to be much more flexible, relaxed, interesting and accessible.

Illustration: Shahriar Rahman

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Illustration: Shahriar Rahman

OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

As it has become easier and easier to have an online presence, educators around the world have created a huge ocean of Open Educational Resources (OER). There is now high quality educational content on the Internet on every subject imaginable. There is no discipline of education for which professional resources cannot be found on the Internet. This has become possible thanks to the high speed and instantly accessible Internet, which has become a permanent part of our modern lives. These open resources are free to use, distribute, share, and generally download. Lumen Learning, Merlot, OER Commons, Open Learning Initiative, Khan Academy, etc. As a forerunner of the Open Educational Resource movement, MIT OpenCourseWare continues to be one of the most sought-after resources. for the learning of students around the world.

Many textbooks are available from sites such as College Open Textbooks, MIT Open Courseware Online Textbooks, OpenStax CNX, etc. Besides formally structured educational programs, a wide range of topics can be learned through sources such as PBS Learning Media, Ted-Ed, Big History Project, Smithsonian Learning Lab, etc.

OPEN ONLINE COURSES

There are now websites that specialize in offering open online courses. Some of these sites offer certification at the end of a course. Not all of these courses are completely free, but they still present an invaluable pool of knowledge. Some of the best websites offering professional training courses in a wide range of topics include Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, EDX, LinkedIn Learning, Open Culture, Academic Earth, Open Yale Courses, Stanford University Open Courses, and more.

Immersive learning, virtual reality and augmented reality

According to EdWeek’s Market Brief, by 2021, more than 70 million students around the world will experience a new form of learning with the intervention of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Virtual reality constructs and models a scenario in which students are to be immersed while augmented reality enhances an existing image or other educational resource. Through immersive learning using virtual reality and augmented reality, students can participate in the growing trend of experiential learning. Immersive learning clarifies complex topics that cannot be easily explained by theory alone. For example, for medical students, virtual reality creates an experience where the learner can travel through the patient’s body to study intricate details. Immersive learning takes the learning experience to a newer and much more enjoyable level and is sure to leave its permanent mark in advancing technological trends in learning.

GAMIFICATION

Gamification is the development of learning systems in the guise of play. Learning is much more enjoyable when the pressure and anxiety associated with obtaining a grade is removed. So far, the gamification of learning has mainly been associated with the sector of K-12 learning. But with the advent of ultra-sophisticated technology that serves to blend higher education topics with a gaming environment, gamification can no longer be seen as a frivolous experience. In the EdTech industry, gamification is now attracting massive funding and constant research is being done on how gamification can practically affect the learning experience of all ages and levels. Duolingo, Brainscape, Virtonomics are some of the examples of gamification widely used in education.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

As a poster child and torchbearer of the unstoppable technological march, AI is no exception in the education sector. AI is now widely used to develop a curriculum suitable for learners of all levels and disciplines, to study failure patterns and find solutions to key problems, to model and create courses based on the specific needs of the student. ‘learner. AI is integrated with all traditional educational technologies to enhance their capabilities. It plays a vital role in adaptive learning and anticipates difficulties that students and teachers may face in the coming days and constantly strives to provide practical and lasting solutions.

EdTech as an industry is only scratching the surface. As we become more aware of how we want to educate ourselves and as we accept the new perceptions surrounding education, technology will surely take us by the hand and lead us in the direction we want.

The author graduated in nuclear science and engineering from the Military Institute of Science and Technology.

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